Environmentalism is all the rage these days and how to be a sustainable parent is on top of the list. It’s something that’s moved up the political agenda, especially among young people, for whom it’s displaced hot-button issues like the economy and immigration.
If we want to reduce the impact of human activity on the planet, we should be thinking about our own behaviour as consumers in the here-and-now. If you’re a parent, you might find this tricky. You must be willing to know – how to be a sustainable parent!
After all, it’s only natural to put the immediate needs of your child ahead of the seemingly abstract, long-term needs of the planet. When you’re sleep-deprived and hurried, you might also prize things like convenience over environmentalism.
But in most cases, this sort of choice is an illusion. It’s possible to make environmentally-friendly decisions without sacrificing convenience or quality of life. Let’s take a look at a few strategies of becoming a sustainable parent.
Your child is going to soil a lot of diapers over the first year or so of its life. Throwing them all in the trash is not a sign of a sustainable parent. Can you imagine how wasteful it would be if we did this with any other item of clothing?
Re-usable cloth diapers are increasingly popular. They’re not only more environmentally-friendly, but cost-effective, too. You can expect to pay just over a tenner for one of them, and so they tend to work out cheaper over the long-term than the alternatives – even if you take into account the water and electricity you need to wash them.
You should source your clothes from a reputable manufacturer with an environmentalist outlook and proven sustainable practices. Sustainable fabrics like bamboo make a great match for baby pyjamas.
Washable Baby Wipes
Disposable baby wipes are a great example of something that’s exceptionally convenient and yet environmentally disastrous. They have a terrible habit of clogging up drains, on top of their other flaws.
Swap them out for a washable, re-usable alternative. As with diapers, going re-usable will help you to cut your costs in the long-term.
Investing in new toys, prams and other accessories can create a considerable burden on the natural world – since most of these items are going to be flung into a landfill once your baby grows up.
By going second-hand, you can minimize the waste associated with being a new parent. Then, when you’re done with the item in question, you can either pass it on to a younger sibling, or put it on the second-hand market yourself.
Participate in a Swap Shop
Many of the toys you buy for your child are going to be used for just a few moments before they’re discarded. By swapping unwanted toys with parents around you, you can save a huge amount – and make sure that every item gets to a child who really wants it.